Decoded Excerpts Reveal Jay-Z Smoking With Biggie & Winning Over Oprah

In anticipation for it’s release, the NY Post has posted some excerpts from Jay-Z’s 336 page book, Decoded. NY Post choose excerpts that show the contrast between Jay-Z’s early life and his current life and status. In the excerpts revealed, Jay-Z talks about his first encounter with the police, dealing with father issues, his incident with Lance “Un” Rivera and smoking with Notorious B.I.G, to befriending Obama and speaking with Oprah.

SoulCulture has a copy of Decoded, but the book will be on general sale November 16th. For now take a sneak peak below

On dealing with his father’s abandonment:

The song “Moment of Clarity” deals with the abandonment by his father when Jay-Z was 11. He says he realized only later that his father, Adnis Reeves, began to unravel after his brother, Jay-Z’s Uncle Ray, was murdered outside a Brooklyn club and the cops never found the killer. “My dad swore revenge and became obsessed with hunting down Uncle Ray’s killer. The tragedy — compounded by the injustice — drove him crazy, sent him to the bottle, and ultimately became a factor in the unraveling of my parents’ marriage.” He only reunited with his dad, at his mother’s urging, three months before his dad died of liver disease in 2003. But he writes, “By the time he left, he’d given me a lot of what I’d need to survive.”

On the Lance Rivera incident, his fear of getting jail time and it’s effect on his Rocawear sales:

Jay-Z glosses over his 1999 stabbing of record producer Lance Rivera, which resulted in the rapper pleading guilty to assault and receiving three years probation. He says he was infuriated because someone had leaked a bootleg copy of “Vol. 3 . . . Life and Times of S. Carter” more than a month before the release date of the album. When he asked who was behind the leak, everyone kept repeating the same name: Rivera. When Jay-Z saw him at rapper Q-Tip’s album release party at the Kit Kat Klub, he confronted him. Rivera “got real loud with me right there in the middle of the club,” Jay-Z writes, “It was strange. We separated and I went over to the bar . . . I was . . . in a state of shock . . . I headed back over to him, but this time I was blacking out with anger.”

After this, chaos ensued in the club, “That night the guy went straight to the police and I was charged with assault.” He says he decided to plead guilty after watching Puff Daddy’s trial on weapons violations that same year. Puffy was acquitted, and Jay-Z says he feared the state would be harder on him after failing to convict his friend.

“The hilarious thing,” he writes, “if any of this can be considered funny, is that the Rocawear bubble coat I was wearing when they paraded me in front of the cameras started flying off the shelves the last three weeks before Christmas.”

Head under the jump to read Jay-Z’s experiences with two of the world’s most influential figures, Obama and Oprah, and watch SoulCulture’s Creative Director Eddie “Versetti” Smith finding the first ever page of the book and meeting Jigga.

On meeting and winning over Oprah:

Jay-Z first met Oprah Winfrey at a dinner party. Winfrey disavows hip-hop for its violence, but the two got to talking and it came up that Jay-Z had read “The Seat of the Soul,” “a book that really affected the way I think about life,” he writes. Oprah had also read the book, which is about the power of positive thinking. The book’s author, Gary Zukav, had been a guest on her show a few times. “Oprah expressed surprise that I also was a fan of his work. She didn’t expect that of a rapper,” he writes.

Jay-Z speaks on his relationship with Obama (who he recently defended while talking politics on UK radio this week):

A friend of President Obama’s helped set up a meeting with Jay-Z in 2008, he says. The two talked for hours. “I wish I could remember a specific moment when it hit me that this guy was special. But it wasn’t like that,” he writes. “It was the fact that he sought me out and then asked question after question about music, about where I’m from, about what people in my circle — the wider circle that reaches . . . all the way back to Marcy — were thinking about politically.”

When Beyoncé sang at the inauguration, he writes, he watched from the audience instead of backstage so he could “feel the energy of everyday people. It was unbelievable to see us — me, Beyoncé, Puff, and other people I’ve known for so long — sharing in this rite of passage.”


Watch how Eddie Smith’s adventure hunt around Brooklyn turned into a visit to Miami to attend the Decoded media launch and spend time with Jay-Z. Read the full article here.